Offices all around the world sit empty, shells of their former bustling selves. The economic statistics are staggering, as of early April J.P. Morgan predicted that deficits for developed markets from the bailout packages would surge to roughly 5 percentage points of GDP this year and unemployment levels more than double in many countries – the US alone is expected to reach 8.5% unemployed (Unemployment in February was 3.5% and in March was 4.4%) before it starts gradually declining again as restrictions are lifted. The recovery will be much slower than the rapid and blunt decline has been.
The traditional advice given to individuals losing a job still has merit. However, these are not ordinary times, so it begs the question – is there a another way to cope with a challenging setback?
It’s easy to lose our sense of perspective when something ‘bad’ happens. One day things are going well then you experience an unpleasant or bad event, from that moment onwards it seems like there is a black cloud hanging over your day, week or month. In that process, you’ve inadvertently reset your “filters” and now only seem to see bad side of things. As you might guess, this is a self-fulfilling process that keeps reinforcing itself; before you know it the future looks bleak too.
What can you use to help yourself to replace your thoughts?
This blog will focus on a technique you can use, in addition to accessing those medical and professional resources, to help reset your “filters” and move you out of a victim position.
We start by recognizing that our own unchecked “anchor” is at the heart of our response, it is not the external event or other person’s behaviour that causes it. This recognition puts us back in the driver’s seat.
How do you replace your thoughts?
There are four steps to resetting your anchor and filter response thereby regaining your sense of perspective.
- Prepare your replacement thought (new anchor)
- Strengthen this by thinking about it a few times each day for about a week or so
- Use it real-time every time a situation occurs that throws off your mood
- Fine-tune your replacement thought to make it as strong and appropriate as possible
It is a remarkably effective technique to bridge or convert an anchor from one holding you back to one that puts you back in the driver’s seat and in control of your own thoughts, feelings and behaviours.